nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2009‒06‒10
two papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
University of the Piemonte Orientale

  1. The Protection and Promotion of Cultural Diversity at the International Level By Mira Burri Nenova
  2. Intellectual Property and Traditional Knowledge By WIPO WORLD INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ORGANIZATION.

  1. By: Mira Burri Nenova
    Abstract: The Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, adopted under the auspices of the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) in 2005, entered into force on 18 March 2007 after an incredibly swift ratification process. The Convention is the culmination of multiple-track efforts that spread over many years with the objective of providing a binding instrument for the protection and promotion of cultural diversity at the international level. These efforts, admirable as they may be, are not however isolated undertakings of goodwill, but a reaction to economic globalisation, whose advancement has been significantly furthered by the emergence of enforceable multilateral trade rules. These very rules, whose bearer is the World Trade Organization (WTO), have been perceived as the antipode to “culture” and have commanded the formulation of counteracting norms that may sufficiently “protect” and “promote”it. Against this backdrop of institutional tension and fragmentation, the present chapter explicates the emergence of the concept of cultural diversity on the international policy- and law-making scene and its legal dimensions given by the new UNESCO Convention. It critically analyses the Convention’s provisions, in particular the rights and obligations of the State Parties, and asks whether indeed the UNESCO Convention provides a sufficient and appropriate basis for the protection and promotion of a thriving and diverse cultural environment. [NCCR WP No 2009/10]
    Keywords: "Trade; culture; cultural diversity; the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, the World Trade Organization
    Date: 2009
    Abstract: Indigenous and local communities justly cherish traditional knowledge (TK) as a part of their very cultural identities. Maintaining the distinct knowledge systems that give rise to TK can be vital for their future well-being and sustainable development and for their intellectual and cultural vitality. For many communities, TK forms part of an holistic world-view, and is inseparable from their very ways of life and their cultural values, spiritual beliefs and customary legal systems. This means that it is vital to sustain not merely the knowledge but the social and physical environment of which it forms an integral part.[WIPO NO 2; 920(E)]
    Keywords: Traditional Knowledge; Defensive Protection; Intellectual Property
    Date: 2009

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